Sunday, January 07, 2018

Vidy's Picks 2017-18 National hampionship Prediction

HENDERSON, Nevada (UPI)…The New England Patriots, ahead of their season-finale vs. the New York Jests, hung thermometers in the opponents' tunnel and behind their bench to flaunt how frosty the conditions were at Gillette Stadium last Sunday. Resort-directors at Vindicator's local-fave-hang-out, Eldorado Casino, planted similar Mercury-marking devices in Vindy's usual parking-garage row, venue entrance-way and behind his preferred sportsbook-seat to throw the fab-forecaster off his Tay-Game and focus in his mind how cool his "Best Bets" have fared in 2017, ahead of his final pre-winner-takes-all predictions, working fairly-well, with Vindicator going 2–3 in his regular-selections on New Year 's Day and a collective 2-5, accounting for his "best bets", that ended up 1-2 (including a loss by the width of a parlay card), with the National Championship-choice "to be announced". 
Slowin'-down more I-Phones than their parent-company APPLE, it's... 
(Survivin' Da' Ground-Beef!) 
#Alabama (-4) over #Georgia ("under 44 ½"):  'Dawgs looked like they were gonna' get blown-out by the Sooners, getting gouged for 242 rushing yards and 531 total yards of offense, yet here they are, pursuing first national championship since Herschel Walker-era 1980. What will the   emotional-toll of that game be here? The only other recent pairing of these squads was 38-10 'Bama-win between da' hedges in 2015, but they'll be folks on the Georgia sideline that remember. Given the match-up of SEC teams, we note  Joja' covered 6 of 9 in conference play (Beating 5 SEC opponents with winning-records), while Tide split its 8 games (toppling just 3 SEC clubs that finished above .500). Ironically, the key to victory lies with each other's games against Auburn.  UGA lost on the road by 23, while Tide lost at home by a dozen, but did not get a chance to avenge that defeat like Georgia did. On defense, minus a couple notable occasions, both sides were stingy, with 'Bama holding 9 opponents to 10 or less and Bulldogs doing likewise to 7 foes. Both run-defenses were Top 20 ('Bama second-best behind only UDUB). Both were Top 10 rushing the ball, which should keep the clock moving and limit possessions. Should it come down to a FG determining who covers, advantage belongs to Joja', which connected nearly 86% of its kicks (18 of 21) and Tide splitting the uprights less than 71% of the time (17 of 24). The last time two teams from the same conference met for the title, the result was a 21-0 cure-for-insomnia victory by Alabama over LSU. Injuries have been mounting for Tide, but Brent Musberger reminds us that Coach Saban has collected 11 triumphs in as many tries over his former assistants. The sudden-occurrence of a "bomb cyclone" inside Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium notwithstanding, we like Persimmon Pachyderms to do what they do by double-digits...Alabama 26 Georgia 13
2017-18 BOWL RECAP 
We hit the ground-game runnin', accurately-calling three of the first four games on the opening day of the bowls, but 35-30 Blue Raiders' track-meet-win in the nightcap-Camellia Bowl tempered our momentum to a mere 3-2. Computer-issues prohibited us from posting calls on the remaining eight games of Part I. Part II saw go uninspired 7-8-1, hitting our "lock" (Navy –1 ½ over Virginia) but missing both "upset" calls (Northern Illinois over Duke and USC over the Buckeyes) and 2 of 3 "best bets". We recovered enough in the last part of the trilogy at 5-4, hitting 2 of 3 "upset" picks (Mississippi State over Louisville [which was also our "lock" selection and the lone contest for which we correctly predicted the exact score] and Iowa State over Memphis [missing with Clemson over 'Bama]), finishing at 15-14-1 (.517). Elsewhere, the Big Tentacle led all conferences with a 7-1 SU/6-2 ATS bowl tally, while the 12-pack was basically a no-show at 1-8/1-8. Among the Group of Five conferences, the Stun Belt went 4-1 SU/ATS, with da' MAC coming in at 1-3 SU/ATS.
BTW, we correctly had the "over 50 ½" on last season's 35-31 Clemson-win over 'Bama for the National Title! 
This year's National Championship contest will feature a major-performer at the intermission ala da' Super Bowl. Hopefully, there will be no former prolific Houston Coogs QB Hines Ward-robe-malfunction! 
Vegas-based band Imagine Dragons played the halftime-show at the Sugar Bowl, where Clemson hit the board for just a pair of FG against 'Bama. Was the end-zone "Ra-di-o-active...ra-di-o-active?" 
Ahead of the Las Vegas Bowl, featuring Boise State and Oregon, a local landmark-sign incorrectly-read "Welcome to Las Vegas, Oregon State University". In related news, Alabama officials have reportedly paid the Atlanta Chamber-of-Commerce to post signage reading "Welcome, Georgia State University"! 
A pair of Wisconsin defensive-players landed (then-released) a four-hundred-fitty-pound shark prior to their Orange Bowl outing. Sadly, the scoreboard-operator's choice of theme-music from Jaws fell on deaf-ears as apparently, the Badgers got "a bigger boat" after-the-fact, rallying to beat host-Miami.  
Late last month, Da' Heart of Dixie elected its first Democratic senator in a quarter-century. Write-in ballots saw Bugs Bunny, Chuck Norris and Nick Saban among others, but yer  humble-host finished a close-second in da' voting to Doug Jones! 
With his multiple-turnovers, USC QB Sam Arnold might as well have been Dr. Seuss' "Sam, I Am", Warner Brothers' "Yosemite Sam" or Lord of Da' Ring's Samwise-Gamgi in Trojans' defeat by THE Ohio State Buckeyes! 
Can't wait for Sir Brad to make a one-handed-grab to reel-in the winning-TD-pass, sending the Bud Bowl losers to da' Pit-of-Misery! Dilly! Dilly! 
If a current Camila Cabello hit-song meets deceptive signal-calling in a certain-area of Illinois, does the refrain become..."My hard-count's in Urbana with a man."???!!! 
Fer Game of Thrones-fans in the readership, we proclaim Vegas Vindicator...Don King of the Anvils, Bratwurst of His Name, Bille Jean King of the North Texas/Carolina/Dakota State, Protractor of the Rem and Brother of Flagons! 
Fer inquiring-minds that wanna' know...anagrams of "Vegas Vindicator" include...Divorcing Vest, Virgin Advocates, I Saved Cavorting and our personal fave...Overcasting Diva! 
"Locked in a Box": The Middies blasted turnover-prone Cavs 49-7 to move our lock-tally to 10-3-1 (.769) in Part II and the Mississippi State Bulldogs pulled-off our Part III predicted-upset over Louisville, as noted above, to take the lock record even-higher to 11-3-1 (.786)!
Black Shirt: We genuflect to Louisville fer sending four (count 'em, four) players to game-long penalty-box ahead of da' Citrus Bowl and Lamar Jackson fer tossing four (count 'em, four) picks vs. Mississippi State!! 
Shoppe Talk: Longtime-followers know that we here at Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe, typically mount entire-teams on da' wall rather than a single-individual, but we'll make an exception here and cordially-invite Miami coach Mark Richt fer makin' contact with an official early in the Orange Bowl, drawin' an Unsportsmanlike-hankie giving the Badgers a first-and-goal. Wisky hit the End Zone on the ensuing-play, assisting Wisconsin's comeback-victory and cover! Overall, Weber-Friendlies weren't! Including Championship Week, the Badgers hung a loss and push on us, dropping to 9-3-1 (.750) and with its forecast-L, Stanford fell to 9-2 (.818). Michigan backed us, moving up to 8-2 (.800).  Flame-Throwers treated us more-kindly, with the Mounted Ears of West Virginia gets a dubya and rises to 3-6 (.333), while Clemson with a win and a loss moves to 3-7-2 (.300) this campaign and 6-17-2 over past 25 appearances! 
Vindy's Bowl Recap Best Bets: Last Week: 1-2 Bowl Season: 2-4 Season: 26-28-1 (.481)
LEFTOVER HASH (Yes, we know it's redundant. Vindicator now conducts the annual "emptying of the arsenal" and expends all the stuff he had at his disposal throughout the season that didn't previously find its way into the forecast...until now.)  
On the basis of academic success, a trio of squads made the 2016-17 post-season at 5-7. Nebraska, Minnesota and San Josie State all won their games outright, thankfully all of this season's participants enter their games at no worse than .500. 
A few thoughts fer even-more post-season venues...TaxTaser/Tayzer.Com Bowl and Duluth Trading “Naked Underwear” Bowl! 
Wouldn’t ya love just once to see a hoops team called fer too "many men on da’ court"???!!! 
In the bad-pun department...College football meets "Game of Thrones"- "My play-clock has ended.; "If a certain Tarantino Western-flick meets college-hoops stoppage-of-play, would it be a "Hateful Under-Eight" time-out?! Elite Eight; If Samuel L. Jackson demonstrates upper-body decoy-moves while flying to a Final Four destination, is it..."Head-Fakes On a Plane"?! If college hoops meets Star Trek, does   Vindy set his NCAA tournament brackets to "stun". Does the NCAA Tourney-winner get to hear "One Monkey Shines Moment"; "One Shire Moment"; If a “Happy Days” pinnacle-episode meets a former infamous UNLV basketball coach, do they “Jump the Tark”???!!! 

Had Obama adopted Trump's stance on immigration while still in the White House, would he have promised a Bill Walton along the border and made Mexico paid for it????!!! 
Is Elon short fer “Elongated University”??!! 
Vin dropped his nachos inside da’ tackle-box, invoking the Five-Yard Rule…if it hits the ground within said-distance of the line-of-scrimmage, it’s still okay to eat!  
Coming soon to the big screen…Channing Tatum foregoes the pads and roams the middle of the gridiron defense wearing nothin' but a G-string in…”Magic Mike-Linebacker”  
Last June, President Trump drove a golf-cart on putting green, ruining said impeccably-manicured putting surface. Did hen "play it where it drives?" Would the Atlanta Falcons seek a mulligan for a Dirty-Birdie"?! 
When Jim Harbaugh tried to rock his son to sleep last summer by croonin' the Wolverines' fight-song, was he actually practicin' fer Big Blue's lulla-bye-week?! 
Joisey guvnah Chris Christie got a bit confused in July on WFAN sports radio, noting his relief (synonym) "we don't have a criminal in da' *Big* House like Hillary Clinton". Christie, of course, meant the *White* House. 
Back in August, following a charity-appearance, Stephen Curry hit da' links with some pros and ex-presidents. The Warriors-phenom posted a nice 74, while the gallery was amazed at his ability to rain birdies from beyond the arc! 
Since May, McCarran Airport here in Sin City has boasted human-like holograms who provide travelling/visiting tips to passengers. There's even an illusionary-version of yer humble host who directs inbound gamblers to his picks and local sportsbooks. Fer a nominal cost of a few quarters, airport patrons can tap the top of a replica R2-D2 and see Princess Leia appear and quip "Help me, Obi-Wan Vindobi... you're my only hope!  
A Silver State Senate bill to make a license plate honoring the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument was altered significantly to create a specialty-plate backing the Las Vegas Raiders. In related news, your humble narrator has petitioned the governing-body-in-question to allow similar tags funding the weekly forecast that spell-out... "VNDK8R"! 
Back in March, Da' Bears released now-Miami Dolphins' QB Jay Cutler- picked-up by Food Network/QVS- Jay Cutlery? 
February 2017 saw Super Bowl Fitty-One Shades Darker! 
Vindy knows tennis?! In July, 18-year-old boys'-doubles partners Zsombor Pires and Wu Yibing got a mandate from Wimbledon-officials to swap-out their black unmentionables to comply with the all-white apparel requirement for the event. Similarly, yer humble-host hadda' ditch da' red Spiderman Underoos for white Haynes boxers by a local Sin City sportsbook director! 
Jerry Seinfeld offered an explanation last June for rebuffing a hug from Kesha on the red carpet, noting he "needs to establish a relationship before" he's down with hugging. Likewise, Vindicator said he needs to do likewise with a school's cheerleading-squad prior to wagering on their teams!  
Last November, actor Shia LaBeouf took three days to binge-watch all of his movies inside the cozy-confines of Manhattan's Angelika Film Center. Not to be outdone, Vindy will binge-read all of his weekly forecasts since 1994 and will permit media to video his reactions! 
Kathy Griffin, following backlash of a controversial photo in June, was quoted as saying Trump is "messing with the wrong redhead". Months later, after POTUS criticism of the weekly forecast, Vindy went on-record noting the Commander-in-Chief is "messin' with da' wrong 'spread-head!" 
In February, "Vindy's Picks: Da' Movie" came out on DVD, drawing four Razzies, tying it with "Hillary" and "Batman v. Superman"!  
And finally... as we head off to show-off his cartoon-skills as a contestant on Ninja Warner Brothers, we leave the loyal readership with our annual Irish blessing..."May da' road-'dog rise up to beat you." (Sumthin' like that!) 
Air Forecast One has gone wheels-up!